Economies are still quarters away from returning to pre-coronavirus levels, warns Amundi


Barriers stating “CLOSED” are arranged outside Tropicana Casino during the coronavirus pandemic on May 7, 2020 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Mark Makela | Getty Images

Economies around the world may still be quarters away from recovering to their pre-pandemic levels, though the worst of the economic shock appears to be over, according to analysts at Amundi Asset Management.

“In our view, economic performance will progress along a gradual upward sloping catch-up process. In the central scenario, this translates into pre-Covid-19 levels not being reached before several quarters from now, on average,” the analysts wrote in a note.

“The bottom has passed, but economies do not seem to be climbing out of it quickly enough to ensure a fast healing,” they said.

Amundi downgraded its economic forecast for 2020 and now expects global GDP to contract by between 3.5% and 4.7% as compared with the previous projection of a decline between 2.9% and 4.2%. Consequently, the GDP growth forecasts for next year were “mildly revised upwards” to between 4.4% to 5.7%, from 4.1% to 5.1% previously.

“After a robust post-lockdown rebound in activity starting around May and early June, the pace of recovery seems to have slowed and stabilised between July-end and August, and this is visible in both soft and hard data,” said the Amundi analysts.

“The recovery curve based on (high frequency data) gauges of production activity, the labour market and consumer sentiment has begun to flatten almost everywhere, without reaching pre-crisis levels,” they said.

Following the losses seen in the first half of the year, the analysts warned that the recovery in the third quarter “does not seem to be enough to bring the majority of economies back to their pre-crisis levels any time soon.”

The analysts, however, highlighted the exception of China, which they said will “likely reach an end of 2019 growth level by end-2020.”

The earliest cases of the coronavirus were reported in China, prompting authorities in the country to take draconian measures to prevent the disease’s spread. Recent data releases out of the country have shown a continued economic recovery in areas such as manufacturing and services sector activity.

Elsewhere, second-quarter gross domestic product data has shown the economic destruction caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Australia on Wednesday officially announced that it had entered a recession in the second quarter, with the country’s treasurer declaring the end of its record economic growth run.

Other major economies have seen worse declines, with the U.S. economy shrinking a record 32.9% in the second quarter while the United Kingdom’s second quarter GDP dropped 20.4%.



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